Finding Out What Corporate Lawyers Do

Justine’s reasons for interning in a corporate/commercial law firm.

Internships for me are always about the experience as a whole. Each is unique and all-round enriching – broaching various depths, acquiring fresh skills and connecting with new people.

This comes especially where an employer is genuinely concerned about personal development in addition to the intern’s mere learning of the firm’s expertise, and makes an effort to discover more about the individual by way of her freely expressed views and aims. For this I am most grateful.

I chose to intern at PLVG, firstly and quite honestly, because of a conversation I had with one of the partners, who I also happen to know personally through LoyarBurok, Marcus van Geyzel. A few months back, while having a conversation on internships in general, I mentioned that I wished to avoid at all costs working with someone I knew personally.

My reason for this position was because I thought it would be awkward, that there was a risk that abilities someone thought I had would be exposed as being in fact alarmingly inferior, or worse, non-existent. I also thought that having an employer who was part of my social media networks in full observation of my idiosyncrasies and lifestyle was fatal.

Marcus disagreed, and suggested that taking on an internship with someone I knew personally would be advantageous, as someone who knows a bit more about me in character and person would be in a position to optimally train and equip me to achieve both my goals and theirs, thus making more effective and meaningful use of time spent.

This represented a sensible, larger picture upon which I readily agreed.

It is also crucial for me to work with someone who holds perspectives and principles with which I agree and respect. People are the soul of any entity, and vitally so, as these bear a significant effect on how individuals work together. I believe Marcus is one such person, and an excellent mentor figure.

I’ve also developed an interest in recent years towards contents of the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times – both of which I receive regularly – but have found the finer operations of corporate markets rather monumental to comprehend. Although my father (who has been in the banking line for decades) has painstakingly and repeatedly tried to explain matters such as stocks, bonds and acquisitions to me, I find that I would better understand them in the legal sense, particularly with the role performed by corporate lawyers in the process.

The terms “lawyer” and “law practice” are often associated with litigation, mountainous black robes, and thunderous utterances punctuated by arm-lashing in the courtroom, as a result of popular television series such as Boston Legal and Suits.

I would like a glimpse into the corporate realm of legal practice, as this may well generate fresh impressions and debunk any apparent myths on the profession of which I have been informed.

I hope that I will learn and grasp as best I can the scope and nature of work undertaken by corporate lawyers, including the general procedures on how such related matters are performed. This would offer valuable insight on corporate and property law, and may prove to be an area of interest for me in terms of legal practice as I have yet to form a defined career focus.

I seek to contribute, however I can, in my capacity as a second-year student of law.

Writing is something I commonly state to be an interest of mine, but writing just about anything instills some anxiety in me – often on the account that it might not be “good enough”. It would provide a definite boost to discover how writing as a skill can be integrated with work in a law firm.

I also look forward to being exposed to different areas of the firm’s work where possible, and do what I reasonably can to make for a meaningful and fruitful internship.


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Justine is a student intent on breaking convention. She finds humans to be fascinating creatures and believes in the uniqueness of the individual. She'd really love to blawg about her observations, but usually procrastinates and instead tweets her views and experiences @JustineMeiErn.

Posted on 14 June 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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